FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Terror Target Nukes

by HARVEY WASSERMAN

Within a matter of days Congressional back-room deals may rubber stamp huge taxpayer loan guarantees to build dozens of what amount to pre-deployed “dirty bombs” for terrorists.

The terror attacks of September 11, 2001, showed that atomic power plants are supremely vulnerable. The first jet that hit the World Trade Center flew directly over Indian Point, whose two active reactors—plus one more that’s retired—sit next to some very fragile high-level waste storage pools.

Had that first jet hit Indian Point, 35 miles north of Manhattan, with tens of millions of Americans closely downwind, the devastation would have been unimaginable. In fact, the 9/11 Commission found that Al Quaeda at one point considered crashing two planes into two nuclear facilities as part of its original plan.

Yet Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) is trying desperately to force taxpayers to underwrite $50 billion and more in loans to build still more of these radioactive bulls-eyes. A decision to include these provisions in the Energy Bill may be made as you read this, which is why safe energy advocates are asking citizens to flood Congress with calls, demanding the provisions be removed.

There is effectively nothing that can protect an atomic power plant from a terror attack. After 9/11, a global internet debate erupted over whether a jet could penetrate a reactor containment dome. Fortunately, there is no experimental datayet.

But at very least more than two dozen early reactor domes, including Indian Point’s, were never required to withstand a jet crash. They were designed in the 1960s with no anticipation of the much bigger planes now filling our skies. There is nothing to indicate they could withstand the kind of impact or fire that hit the WTC towers.

It would not be necessary for terrorists to hijack another jet, since Osama bin Laden among others has more than enough money to buy his own.

Nor would they need to penetrate a containment. The impact and fire alone on or near a reactor could devastate pipes, pumps, cooling systems, electronic controls, human operators, off-site power and communications, and any number of additional vital pressure points capable of causing a melt-down.

Chernobyl did explode in 1986, and Michigan’s Fermi I fast breeder almost did so in 1966. In 1979, Three Mile Island faced the possibility of a hydrogen explosion. But its lethal radiation, which killed people and animals nearby, vented through stacks that remained intact throughout the disaster.

Arizona’s entire three-reactor Palo Verde complex was recently shut because a single worker had what may have been a pipe bomb in his car.

All these events highlight the vulnerability of any society dependent on nuke power for its energy. A recent earthquake in Japan forced shut seven reactors in a single moment. The US now has 104 such plants generating some 20% of our electricity. Many are also near earthquake faults. All are vulnerable individually and as a fleet to a terror shut-down without a moment’s notice.

Domenici’s loan plan has been denounced by nearly every major environmental group in the United States, along with taxpayer groups and free marketeers such as the Cato Institute and Forbes Magazine, plus Congressional conservatives concerned about the budget process.

Domenici and his neo-con cohorts have been clear in their willingness to shred the Constitution in the name of national security.

But they would simultaneously force us to underwrite easily ignitable engines of radioactive mass destruction pre-deployed on our own soil.

The decision on whether these radioactive loan guarantees will be in the Energy Bill is being made as you read this. Call the Congressional leadership, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and tell them these bailouts for terror-target nukes must be stopped. NOW!

HARVEY WASSERMAN, a co-founder of Musicians United for Safe Energy, is editing the nukefree.org web site. He is the author of SOLARTOPIA! Our Green-Powered Earth, A.D. 2030, is at www.solartopia.org. He can be reached at: Windhw@aol.com

 

 

 

Harvey Wasserman wrote SOLARTOPIA! Our Green-Powered Earth. His Green Power & Wellness Show is at www.prn.fm

More articles by:
May 26, 2016
Paul Craig Roberts
The Looting Stage of Capitalism: Germany’s Assault on the IMF
Pepe Escobar
Hillary Clinton: A Major Gold-Digging Liability
Sam Pizzigati
America’s Cosmic Tax Gap
Ramzy Baroud
Time to End the ‘Hasbara’: Palestinian Media and the Search for a Common Story
José L. Flores
Wall Street’s New Man in Brazil: The Forces Behind Dilma Rousseff’s Impeachment
Patrick Cockburn
The Battle of Fallujah: ISIS Unleashes Its Death Squads
John Feffer
The Coming Drone Blowback
Alex Ray
The Death Toll in Syria: What Do the Numbers Really Say?
Richard Pithouse
We Shall be the Prey and the Vulture
Binoy Kampmark
Trump and the Polls of Loathing
Manuel E. Yepe
A Cruise Ship Without Tourists Arrives in Havana
Jack Rasmus
Greek Debt Negotiations: Will the IMF Exit the Troika?
Ajamu Nangwaya
Pan-Africanism, Feminism and Finding Missing Pan-Africanist Women
Howard Lisnoff
Israel, a Palestinian State and Anti-Semitism
May 25, 2016
Eric Draitser
Obama in Hiroshima: A Case Study in Hypocrisy
Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
Does Venezuela’s Crisis Prove Socialism Doesn’t Work?
Dan Arel
The Socialist Revolution Beyond Sanders and the Democratic Party
Marc Estrin
Cocky-Doody Politics and World Affairs
Sam Husseini
Layers of Islamophobia: Do Liberals Care That Hillary Returned “Muslim Money”?
Susan Babbitt
Invisible in Life, Invisible in Death: How Information Becomes Useless
Mel Gurtov
Hillary’s Cowgirl Diplomacy?
Kathy Kelly
Hammering for Peace
Dick Reavis
The Impeachment of Donald Trump
Wahid Azal
Behind the Politics of a Current Brouhaha in Iran: an Ex-President Ayatollah’s Daughter and the Baha’is
Jesse Jackson
Obama Must Recommit to Eliminating Nuclear Arms
Colin Todhunter
From the Green Revolution to GMOs: Living in the Shadow of Global Agribusiness
Binoy Kampmark
Turkey as Terror: the Role of Ankara in the Brexit Referendum
Dave Lindorff
72-Year-Old Fringe Left Candidate Wins Presidency in Austrian Run-Off Election
May 24, 2016
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
The Financial Invasion of Greece
Jonathan Cook
Religious Zealots Ready for Takeover of Israeli Army
Ted Rall
Why I Am #NeverHillary
Mari Jo Buhle – Paul Buhle
Television Meets History
Robert Hunziker
Troika Heat-Seeking Missile Destroys Greece
Judy Gumbo
May Day Road Trip: 1968 – 2016
Colin Todhunter
Cheerleader for US Aggression, Pushing the World to the Nuclear Brink
Jeremy Brecher
This is What Insurgency Looks Like
Jonathan Latham
Unsafe at Any Dose: Chemical Safety Failures from DDT to Glyphosate to BPA
Binoy Kampmark
Suing Russia: Litigating over MH17
Dave Lindorff
Europe, the US and the Politics of Pissing and Being Pissed
Matt Peppe
Cashing In at the Race Track While Facing Charges of “Abusive” Lending Practices
Gilbert Mercier
If Bernie Sanders Is Real, He Will Run as an Independent
Peter Bohmer
A Year Later! The Struggle for Justice Continues!
Dave Welsh
Police Chief Fired in Victory for the Frisco 500
May 23, 2016
Conn Hallinan
European Union: a House Divided
Paul Buhle
Labor’s Sell-Out and the Sanders Campaign
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail